Untitled Document

RACEWAY PAST

2000's

 

Season 2000

The new season at Raceway kicks of on a new date – Good Friday instead of the traditional Easter Tuesday.

A new class is added to the Raceway schedule as the promoters introduce the full ORC spec Lightning Rod division. The existing lightning rod class is re-named Group Two Lightning Rods. The local drivers are immediately at home in the class and Stewart Doak takes the European title at Portadown ahead of English visitor Richard Boulton.

Harry Burgoyne wins both qualifying heats for the British Masters Stock Saloon Championship at Ballymena, but opts to start the Portadown staged final at the back of the grid amid rumours of bets and challenges with a certain Mr.Davy McCall! The race has to be postponed and run later in the programme after a nasty smash for Pete McVay requires the roof of his car to be cut off to remove the Scotsman from the vehicle. Burgoyne’s race is also fraught as he completes a full rollover and lands back on all four wheels to continue, making fourth at the finish behind Gordon Alexander, Stuart McCammon and Kenny Purdie.

Ian McReynolds causes a sensation at the Ipswich staged Lightning Rod World Final when the Portadown driver romps to victory at his first attempt. Post race scrutineering however sees him removed from the results for a carburettor infringement. McReynolds bounces back to win the National Championship at Hednesford later in the season.

Trevor Moore secures the Irish Open F2 title at Ballymena.

Alan Connolly clinches the World Stock Rod title for the first time at Ipswich. The Ballymoney ace goes on to add the European and British titles before the end of the season.

English superstar John Steward is declared the winner of a controversial British Championship for the National Hot Rods at Raceway when on the road winner Gary Woolsey is disqualified for an incident after the chequered flag.

David Hearst wins the Stock Saloon Irish Championship at Raceway with Davy Foster his runner-up and defending champion Ronnie Wright in third.

Darren McKinstry moves aside long time leader Graham Fegan on the final lap to claim the F2 Stadium Championship.

Despite ending the race on his roof after being tipped into a roll by a back marker, Micky McFall is declared Irish Group Two Lightning Rod Champion.

The Super Rods are back for another outing on the Ballymena tarmac. Chas Farrer returns to England as the new European Champion.

Keith Martin wins the National Hot Rod European Championship for the second time at Tipperary Raceway.

Season 2001

Alan Connolly successfully defends his Yokohama Tyres title on Easter Monday at Raceway.

David Hearst from Tandragee wins the British Masters Championship for Stock Saloons at Raceway ahead of Scotland’s Gordon Alexander.

The Group Twos are dropped from the Raceway fixtures for a while mid-season after things get a little heated on track, particularly between star men Chris Foster and J P Kilpatrick.

Keith Martin wins the National Hot Rod Thunder 500 at Ipswich.

Raceway hosts the World Stock Rod Championship for the second time and the title remains in the province after Alastair Calvin from Markethill takes victory ahead of Frankie Lynn and Andrew Best.

Local drivers dominate the Lightning Rod British Championship held over two meetings at Ballymena and Portadown. Jeff Richardson, Micky McFall, Stewart Doak and Stephen Emerson win a heat each, but it is Kenny Robinson who comes away with the big prize in the final.

Junior Rods are reintroduced to the Raceway programme midway through the season. A Stadium Championship is held at the end of the season and is won by Richard Purdy.

Davy McCall captures the National Hot Rod British Championship at Portadown ahead of fellow countrymen Wayne Woolsey and Stewart Doak.

Alan Connolly and Shane Gault clinch Irish titles at Raceway in the Stock Rod and Group Two classes respectively.

Graham Fegan is the F2 Stadium Champion after a heated battle between himself, brother Gavin and Ian Thompson that sees the other pair head for an early exit in the Raceway wall.

Season 2002

World Stock Saloon Champion Steve Santry appears at Raceway in the qualifying heats for the British Masters, but has to settle for second place in the final behind Gordon Alexander at Shamrock Park the following evening.

World F2 Champion Daz Kitson marks his Raceway debut in impressive style with victory in Irish Open Championship.

Stewart Doak is in great form in the ORC Lightning Rod class, lifting the British title at his home track Portadown and the European title at Ipswich.

National Hot Rod star Keith Martin retains the Thunder 500 title at Ipswich during June.

Raceway drivers Davy McCall (National Hot Rods) and Alan Connolly (Stock Rods) are crowned World Champions.

McCall adds the National title at Hednesford, with Portadown driver Wayne Woolsey in third.

Gary Woolsey triumphs at the Raceway staged British Championship for National Hot Rods despite a controversial clash with pole sitter McCall in the opening laps that leads to the World Champion spinning out of the race.

Chris Foster (Group Twos) and Patrick Carey (Junior Rods) secure their respective Irish titles at Raceway.

Alan Connolly makes it a clean sweep of the Stock Rod titles available at Ballymena in 2002 by winning the Yokohama, Irish Open and Irish Closed Championships.

A few scores from the Irish f2 Championship are settled during the Ballymena Stadium Championship as Team Fegan and Ian Thompson go head to head. George Fegan in particular feels the full force of Thompy’s front bumper and none of them will reach the end of the race. Davy McCrory steers clear of the trouble to collect the win.

Season 2003

The new season kicks of with a championship double for the Stock Rods. Victor McAfee takes the Yokohama Tyres Championship on Easter Saturday before Alan Connolly retains the Irish Open on Easter Monday.

Local driver Brian Houston qualifies on pole position for the Irish Open Stock Saloon Championship, but it is defending champion Gordon Alexander who comes out on top in the final at Raceway.

Gary Woolsey retains the British Championship for National Hot Rods at Raceway during May.

Stephen Emerson keeps the European Lightning Rod title in the province for another season when the Antrim driver triumphs in Tipperary.

It’s the story of an Irishman, a Scotsman and an Englishman at Raceway for the F2 Challenge Trophy as Ian Thompson lifts the title ahead of Gordon Moodie and Chris Roots. The race is not without controversy however when Thompy is generously allowed to restart the race in his original position after becoming embroiled in a tangle that caused a yellow flag.

Alan Connolly successfully defends his World Stock Rod title at Cowdenbeath.

Mark Keys from Tandragee wins the ORCi Lightning Rod title at Raceway and Alan Connolly captures the Stock Rod version also at Raceway.

Keys also takes the National title in an Ulster 1-2-3 at Hednesford, ahead of Chris Foster and Stephen Emerson.

There are victories at Raceway in their respective Irish Championships for Victor McAfee (Stock Rods), Winston Weir (Stock Saloons), Ricky Shaw (Group Twos) and Liscinda Smyth (Junior Rods).

David McCrory collects his third Stadium Championship for the F2’s while fellow Antrim driver Stephen Emerson triumphs in the ORC Lightning Rod version.

Season 2004

National Hot Rod driver Stewart Doak starts the season in fine form with a win in the Irish Grand Prix at Tipperary.

Alan Connolly wins his fifth Yokohama Stock Rod title on Good Friday at Raceway before Davy McKay clinches his first major title with victory in the Irish Open on Easter Monday.

Clive Richardson wins his first major title in National Hot Rods when the Dungannon based star resists a strong challenge from National Champion Carl Boardley to claim the British Championship at Raceway.

On his first Raceway outing in a Stock Saloon car, Portadown driver Andrew Stewart takes victory in the Irish Open Championship ahead of defending champion Gordon Alexander.

Mick Sworder dominates the Irish Open meeting for F2 Stock Cars to win handsomely ahead of Billy Batten and Raymond Percy. English visitor Chris Lindsay is involved in a horrifying crash at the start of heat two.

Raceway is the setting for the Stock Rod World Final at the end of August. A dramatic final sees local drivers Victor McAfee and Micky McFall clash while contesting the lead. Glenn Bell takes full advantage and the Portadown teenager keeps his cool to claim a worthy and popular victory ahead of Scotland’s Gillian Philp and England’s Stuart Fox, as the title remains in the province for an amazing fifth year in a row.

Mark Keys successfully defends his Lightning Rod National Championship at Hednesford, while David Hearst snatches his ORCi crown at Tipperary.

Alastair Calvin (Stock Rods), Tommy McCrory (Stock Saloons), Kenny Greer (Group Two Lightning Rods) and Steven Bolton (Junior Rods) win their respective Irish Championships at Raceway.

Irish Stock Car Champion and Points Champion Graham Fegan coolly collects the Stadium Championship to complete a clean sweep of domestic honours in the class during 2004.

Chris Foster is the new Stadium Champion for ORC Lightning Rods.

Season 2005

Micky McFall resists strong pressure from English driver Stuart Fox to grab the Yokohama Tyres Stock Rod Championship over the Easter weekend at Raceway.

World Saloon Champion Steve Webster makes the trip to Ballymena for the final of the Irish Open, but has to settle for third behind Scotsman Alan Ainslie and Irish Champion Tommy McCrory.

Ian Thompson makes his debut in National Hot Rods at Ballymena on 15th April and by the end of the season has National and British titles to his name.

Tony Loftus causes one of the shocks of the season when the white grade driver beats all the stars to claim the F2 Challenge Trophy at Raceway in June.

Stevie McNeice wins his first major title at Raceway when he captures the Irish Open Stock Rod Championship.

Raceway welcomes home a new World Champion at the 8th July meeting after Keith Martin wins the National Hot Rod crown at Ipswich. The Dungannon driver would add the European title at Tipperary in October.

F2 superstar Graham Fegan is the new European Champion after an impressive drive at the Northampton staged event.

Nigel Jackson from Portadown wins the National Lightning Rod title at Hednesford.

Stephen Emerson rounds off another successful campaign in the Lightning Rod class with victory in the Stadium Championship. The Antrim ace also collects the British, ORCi, Irish and Points Championships during the regular season.

Craig McConnell is the winner of a lively F2 Stadium Championship that sees some fallout from the Irish Championship as Graham Fegan leaves the A&D car of Raymond Percy dangling on the Fisherwick bend wall.

Tommy McCrory (Stock Saloons), Alastair Bolton (Stock Rods), James Greer (Group Two Lightning Rods) and Anthony Kinney (Junior Rods) are all confirmed as Irish Champions at Raceway.


Season 2006

The stunning Vauxhall Tigra of World Champion Chris Lattka heads the entry for the Yokohama Tyres Stock Rod Championship over the Easter weekend, but the Scotsman has to settle for third at Raceway behind local stars Glenn Bell and Micky McFall.

Nigel Jackson and Mark Keys split the wins as Raceway hosts the qualifying heats for the Lightning Rod European Championship. Jackson goes on to clinch the title at Nutts Corner Oval the following evening.

Alistair Strachan from Fraserburgh in Aberdeenshire makes the long journey to Raceway worthwhile when he returns home with the World Masters Trophy for Saloon Stock Cars.

Raceway stages the Irish Open Championship for Formula Two Stock Cars during June, where European Champion Graham Fegan and National Points Champion Gordon Moodie keep the crowd entertained with an explosive battle all evening. Local yellow top David Nesbitt avoids the fireworks to claim a sensational win.

The Group Two Lightning Rods contest their Challenge Cup at the end of June, where Lyle Murray becomes the inaugural winner of the event.

The Raceway meeting at the start of July is cancelled due to damage caused to the race wall by some hectic Stock Saloon action at the previous meeting.

The new World qualifying campaign for National Hot Rods kicks off at Raceway on 21st July with Alan Connolly the final victor, his third in a row at the venue.

National Hot Rod star Keith Martin captures the National Championship at Hednesford Hills Raceway during August.

Raceway presents a double helping of events for the Stock Rods over the last weekend in August. Glenn Bell wins the Irish Open Championship and Alastair Calvin leaves with the World Masters Trophy.

Raceway saloon star Winston Weir finishes an excellent runner-up in the Saloon Stock Car World final at Skegness Stadium, Lincolnshire.

The month of September means Irish Championship time at Raceway. Liscinda Smyth (Juniors), Shane Gault (Group Twos), Winston Weir (Saloons) and Glenn Bell (Stock Rods) are the 2006 champions in their respective categories.

Stephen Emerson becomes the first Ulsterman to be crowned Lightning Rod World Champion, when the Antrim based driver seizes the gold roof with a superb performance at Foxhall Raceway, Ipswich.

Newly crowned Irish Champion and Points Champion Craig McConnell successfully defends the Stadium Championship at Raceway to complete a clean sweep of F2 titles in 2006.
Keith Martin retains the National Hot Rod European Championship at Tipperary Raceway, where Northern Ireland drivers occupy four of the top five spots.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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